ADHD & Marriage - Weekly Marriage Tip - November 7, 2012

Heart to Heart

Tips for Thriving in your Marriage

Quote of the WeekQuick Links

“Though they strive for greatness, most perfectionists are destined for disappointment. The data on perfectionism and actual performance show little payoff in terms of objective achievement,” psychologist Gordon Flett reports.  And when perfectionists do perform exceptionally, he adds, “many evaluate themselves quite harshly and don’t feel especially good about their accomplishments.”  (He continues…) “It’s maladaptive when someone is striving to be a perfect person, but it’s natural to want to be perfect in the one or two areas that matter most to you.”

- Psychology Today, A Field Guide to the Overachiever, Nov/Dec 2011 


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Dr. Ned Hallowell likes to say “don’t try to be perfect - try to be good enough” and I agree with him completely.  Not only is perfectionism an incredibly elusive goal (see the quote above!) but it also takes WAY too much time.

In addition, those who try to do it all may set themselves up for exhaustion and health problems, psychologist Gordon Flett warns.  Working moms who felt they could “have it all” showed more depressive symptoms than those who expected they would have to forgo some aspects of their career or parenting to achieve balance, according to new research from the University of Washington.

One way to lessen this stress is to worry less about "things" and think more about people.  The house doesn't have to be perfectly clean (nor do the kids, for that matter!), and the lawn can wait a bit.  Set realistic goals at work.  Hold yourself to "high enough" standards – those which make you and those around you contented enough – and then go have some fun.  If you start to feel overwhelmed by a backlog of obligations, do two things:  ask for (or hire) help to get those obligations out of the way ASAP, and assess whether you still have too much on your plate - is there something you can ease away from completely?

Bottom line is this - what makes everyone happiest are the times you can spend together, not the obligations you must meet.  So start thinking "good enough" rather than "perfect" and your life will feel more balanced.



For those in marriages impacted by ADHD
If you or your spouse has ADHD, please join our forum at to ask your questions and learn from others who share your issues.  In addition, you'll find in-depth essays to help you learn how to thrive in a marriage affected by ADHD.
Hope to hear from you there!
Melissa Orlov

© 2012 Melissa Orlov